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SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Výtlky

“AT MONDAY’S Alfa event I mentioned that I just narrowly escaped potholes (výtlky). As I was returning from LŽ and MB’s event today, one of them caught up with me, and now I’m waiting for a service vehicle. Yummy.” The situation described in MP Radoslav Procházka’s Facebook status could easily happen to anyone. The winter always leaves the roads in a disastrous state, but this year they are in an especially dire condition. In fact, the only thing that looks even more battered is the opposition.

“AT MONDAY’S Alfa event I mentioned that I just narrowly escaped potholes (výtlky). As I was returning from LŽ and MB’s event today, one of them caught up with me, and now I’m waiting for a service vehicle. Yummy.” The situation described in MP Radoslav Procházka’s Facebook status could easily happen to anyone. The winter always leaves the roads in a disastrous state, but this year they are in an especially dire condition. In fact, the only thing that looks even more battered is the opposition.

Just take this week – first, Procházka left the ranks of the Christian Democrats and introduced Alfa, a non-profit likely to turn into a political party. Then Lucia Žitňanská and Miroslav Beblavý (the LŽ and MB from Procházka’s status) launched their We Are Creating Slovakia (Tvoríme Slovensko) platform. For now, they are staying in the SDKÚ. But it probably won’t be long before they go. Add to this the fact that SaS will be electing its leader in a month and that some members are already hinting they will leave if the vote doesn’t go their way, and the number of right-wing parties could soon reach absurd dimensions. Just in parliament you now have the Catholic KDH, the civic-democratic SDKÚ, the liberal SaS, the Hungarian Most, the wild bunch that is the caucus of Ordinary People and Independent Personalities, the New Majority with two MPs, the one-man-army of Alfa, the creators of a new Slovakia, plus a couple of former members of the Civic Conservative Party (OKS) scattered across different parties.

To give you a taste of the agenda they are currently preoccupied with, here is a key part from the invitation to the first We Are Creating Slovakia meeting: “Are we catching up with countries we consider modern and developed? Or is everything a little different? What do citizens think about the previous 20 years? Do they feel like participants in these changes? But maybe we also need to ask further questions. How do we behave in the public domain? What rules do we respect and want to respect? What economic strategies make sense? Is it necessary to re-formulate them anew? The number of answers we must seek is large.”

If the right doesn’t get to more pragmatic matters, such as the huge holes in the roads, its path to power will remain as impassable as it appears now. And Smer will have many more years to run the country its way. Yummy.

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